2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
The disciples dreaded the thought that they would be separated from Jesus. It is with this understanding that Jesus told His men that they would fellowship with Him in heaven. There would be an eternal reunion with Him. What might appear to the 11 as a disaster was a blessing. Without Christ’s death on the cross, they would never make it to heaven.
In the previous verse Jesus challenged the 11 to believe both in the Father and Himself. Here He gave the content of what they were to believe; it is a promise, a promise of what their future would be.
2 In My Father’s house are many mansions [dwelling places];
“Father’s house” refers to the domain of God; heaven is a place where we will live with both Jesus and God.
“Many mansions” means that there is room for all. All are welcome. The implication of this statement is that there is room for all disciples in heaven. Each child of God has a place in heaven.
“Mansions” is not a correct translation. The Greek word does not imply that a castle awaits believers in heaven. The word literally means dwelling places. The idea is “homes” or “abodes”; that is, a place to live. God reserves rooms in heaven for those who believe in Him. This is the permanent dwelling for believers into eternity.
if it were not so [but it is so], I would have told you.
Jesus would never mislead His disciples. There will be a reunion with Him where His disciples will live in homes in heaven. Without His dying for their sins, there would be no eternal home. There is no doubt about Jesus’ promise.
Jesus’ revelation of His preparing a place for those who follow Him is a new concept not found in the Old Testament.
The Greek word “go” carries the idea of forerunner (He 6:20). In extra-biblical Greek this word was used for an army that blazed a trail for the remainder of the troops to follow. Jesus blazed the way for us to go to heaven.
Another extra-biblical use for “go” was for a pilot boat sent out to guide corn ships into safe waters to the harbor of Alexandria Egypt. Jesus made it safe for us to follow Him to heaven.
to prepare a place for you.
Jesus would prepare a place in heaven for those who believe in Him by going to the cross. This was His mission. Heaven is ours, but even more, there is a special place for us. Jesus is the one who procured the right to go to heaven by His death on the cross. He entered heaven as our Mediator by personally representing us to the Father. Without that mediation, His disciples would have no place with Jesus.
Jesus has prepared a place for prepared people in heaven.
Heaven is no pie-in-the-sky bye-and-bye idea. It is a place of stark reality. It could not be more real because God is there. Christians eagerly await our Savior to take us there (Php 3:20). It should be a great incentive in how we live our lives.
There is no “mansion over the hilltop” because the word simply means “dwelling place.” All that Jesus promised is that we will have a home in heaven, not some supercastle. The idea is not that we will have palatial houses but ample room to live with Christ.
Heaven to the Christian is both a place and a Person. The place is the Father’s house; the person is Christ Himself. Heaven is a secured place for secured people.
Believers are in the presence of the Lord presently (2 Co 5:8), but there will come a day when they will be citizens of “New Jerusalem.” This will be our final abode.
Revelation 21:16 reveals the size of the city in heaven. Someone calculated that the city would be 2,250,000 square miles. That would hold about 100 billion people. The New Jerusalem is our future home, a heavenly home. God will establish a new earth after the millennial reign of Christ. Immediately after death or at the Rapture and prior to the Second Coming, the believer will go to be with Jesus and live in a home prepared for us. After His Second Coming and millennial reign, believers will live in the New Jerusalem.